With a simple comic about the slow death of newspapers - and the comic-strip artists they support - "Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau has angered a new generation of cartoonists whose work mainly appers online.
Take a gander at Saturday's comic, in which longtime strip protagonists Mike Doonesbury and pal Zonker tell readers what happens to comics if newsapers go away (the answer: blank space), and then urge fans to keep buying dead-paper products. "Stick with print, folks. This doesn't have to happen!" quips Mike.
Legions of web cartoonists have taken offense, as detailed by a quick and smart report by Andrew Beaujon of Poynter.org's MediaWire. One erstwhile artist drew a picture of a flautlent alien in the Trudeau comic's empty panels.
Mr. Trudeau has not been shy about his fears regarding the health of newspapers. "People are right to worry,"he told Slate. " Everyone knows where print is headed, and most Web comics are struggling. With adroit merchandising, a couple of them have been profitable, but they don’t connect with readers in the same visceral way that traditional comics once did. Comics used to be central to popular culture, enormously influential. They were a daily habit we all had in common."
So his Saturday comic may be less about his feelings regarding web comics and more about his sense that if anyone's going to make money in this game, they'll have to be in a newspaper. So what happens when print newspapers meet their inevitable demise?
Dagwood Bumstead, we hope you have life insurance.
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